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Jeffrey Engel Education. (2013) 'Into the Desert Reflections on the Gulf War.'

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Kuwait 16, Gorbachev 14, Washington 14, United States 13, Cleveland 10, Bush 9, America 8, Texas 8, Iraq 8, Vietnam 7, Saddam Hussein 7, George Bush 6, Baghdad 6, Romania 4, The City 4, Israel 4, Scowcroft 4, Grover 3, Jeffrey Engel 3, Europe 3,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Jeffrey Engel  Education.  (2013) 'Into  
   the Desert Reflections on the Gulf War.'  

    February 17, 2013
    7:00 - 8:29am EST  

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when cleveland finally wins the presidency, the democrats tweaked that little song by saying ma ma, where is my pop? gone to the white house ha ha half. what may be discounted was this. grover cleveland's best friend and law partner was a guy named oscar. cleveland was born in new jersey and spent most of his career in buffalo, had become the mayor, governor of new york but he was a pretty successful lawyer. he and austin were law partners. they practiced law together. they went out to get. they would go out drinking and eating together, and it appears that they also enjoyed the services of maria together. so when maria gets pregnant, she has a son, and neither oscar nor grover cleveland knew who the father was. maria complicates things by naming the child oscar
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cleveland. oscar fulsome had been married and had a daughter. cleveland was a bachelors of cleveland kind of accepted responsibility to pay for the child to go to an orphanage. but here's where the other part of the scandal comes in. oscar fulsome dies a few years later in a carriage accident writing, driving his carriage, recklessly drunk, apparently breaks his neck. he leaves a widow and his young girl. grover cleveland makes an enormous amount of money as his law partner, and cleveland kind of takes care of the widow and the young girl, pays for them, sets them up in a nice home. he becomes the godfather, if you will to the little girl. they are very close. she calls him on coca leaves, which should be part of a hint. he pays to send her to college. what happens is as francis is
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growing up, cleveland's relationship with her changes. changes from uncle cleve to a romantic interest. cleveland start sending her letters and poems and roses. it's a full-court press on courting her. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? sentencing e-mail at booktv@c-span.org. or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> you're watching booktv. next, jeffrey engel talks about his book, "into the desert," a collection of essays by journalists, government officials, and scholars that look back on the events in the impact of the 1990-91 gulf war. it's about an hour 20 your. >> doctor jeffrey engel is the
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founding director of the presidential history project at southern methodist university, until the summer of 2012, he served as the class of 52 a.m., professor at texas a&m university in the bush school. so we are pleased there here as well. that you very much for the support you've given to jeffrey engel and to the bush school in texas and them. when jeff was in texas a&m county was the dreck of programming for the institute and is a graduate of cornell university. additionally, studied at saint catherine's college, oxford university, and received his ph.d in american history from university of wisconsin at madison. he served as an postdoctoral fellow in international security studies at yale university. his books include "cold war at
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30,000 feet,." he received a pretty significant award for that book. anyone the biannual rise from the american historical association for the outstanding work in european military and strategic history. he wrote local consequences of the global cold war, published by stanford university press in 2008, and "the china diary of george h. w. bush" published by princeton university press in 2008. we think in leadership and whole of government national security reform, one of our bush school faculty members, and that was done for the strategic studies institute in 2010. and he wrote "the fall of the berlin wall," published by oxford university press in 2000.
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obviously, we miss him at the bush school but we know he's doing well at the smu. i would now like to suggest that we're going to have a preproduction to doctor jeff engel coming up on stage, and before he brings his remarks, we are going to see a video. is a pretty significant to you because it's a video in president bush's own words, and it chronicles events followed the invasion of kuwait, and i would like you now to pay attention to this video, and after it's over, we'll have jeff engel, then talk with us. thank you very much. [applause] >> in the early morning hours of august 2, following negotiations and promises by iraq's dictator, saddam hussein, not to use
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force, a powerful iraqi army invaded its trusting a much weaker neighbor, kuwait. within three days, 120,000 iraqi troops, with 850 tanks, had poured into kuwait and moved south to threaten saudi arabia. >> at my direction, elements of the 82nd airborne division, as well as key units of the united states air force, on arriving today to take up defensive positions in saudi arabia. no one, friend or foe, should doubt our desire for peace, and no one should underestimate our determination to confront aggression. >> our objectives in the persian gulf are clear.
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our goals defined, and familiar. iraq must withdraw from kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition. these goals are not ours alone. they have been endorsed by the u.n. security council five times in as many weeks. most countries share our concern for principle, and many have a stake in the stability of the persian gulf. this is not, as saddam hussein would have it, the united states against iraq. it is iraqi against the world. >> and may i say that i just had a very useful meeting with his highness, the in ear, and i reiterated the total commitment of the united states to the objectives that are enshrined in
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10 u.n. security council resolutions. we agreed on the desirability of these objectives be realized peacefully. at the same time we also agree that all options remained open and that steps need to be taken right now. >> [background sounds] >> over the past four months, you have launched but history will judge as one of the most important deployments of allied military powers since 1945. and i've come here today to personally thank you. the world is watching. >> i have spoken with the secretary of state, jim baker, who reported to me on his nearly seven hours of conversation with
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the iraq foreign minister. secretary baker made it clear that he discerned no evidence whatsoever that iraq was willing to comply with the international kindred demand to withdraw from kuwait and comply with the united nations resolution. let me emphasize that i've not given up on a peaceful outcome. it's not too late. the choice of peace or war is really saddam hussein's to make. >> just two hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in iraq and kuwait. these attacks continue as i speak. ground forces are not engaged.
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>> israel is not a participant. israel is not a combatant, and this man has elected to launch a terrorist attack. >> when the soviet union made such a strong statement, that was very reassuring, and we are in close touch with our partners and this coalition is not going to fall apart.
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>> now with remarkable technological advances like the patriot missile, we can defend against ballistic missile attacks aimed at innocent civilians. >> i have, therefore, directed general norman schwarzkopf, in conjunction with coalition forces, to use all forces available, including ground forces, to reject the iraqi army from kuwait. deliberation with kuwait has entered its final days. i have complete confidence in the ability of the coalition forces, swiftly and decisively, to accomplish their mission.
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>> kuwait is liberated. iraq's army is defeated. our military objectives are met. kuwait is once more in the hands of the kuwaitis in control of their own destiny. we share in their joy. a joy tempered only by our compassion for their ordeal. >> we went halfway around the world to do what is moral, just, and right. we fought hard and with others, we won the war. we lifted the yoke of oppression and tyranny from a small country that many americans have never even heard of, and we asked nothing in return. we are coming home now. proud, confident, heads high. there is much that we must do at home and abroad, and we will do
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it. we are americans. may god bless this great nation, the united states of america. thank you all. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> dr. jeffrey engel. [applause]
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>> howdy. >> howdy. >> i've got together, i miss a lot of things about aggie land. it's been about two years and have been back. i miss the students. i miss the barbecue. i miss the football, especially this last year. i really miss the howdy. so this as i mentioned is my first visit back to the bush school in about two years and i have to say, it's really hard not to go completely overwhelmed by the memories. in every possible way, the bush school provided a home. our kids were born here in college station, and it will forever be part of our lives and our history. and, in fact, i might the school gave me nothing less than a career as well. and also provide i should say wonderful colleagues, ever eager to debate ideas while training the next generation of public servants. now, i should note that several of my favorite colleagues were
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also ever eager to explain to me in great detail, oftentimes with charts and graphs and long equations, exactly what own methodologies were deficient. i wish the professor was here. these debates help sharpen our arguments. and effect they prove the value of good college because the best kind of colleagues are those who care enough to argue, to help you get it right. so i really do thank my colleagues, especially for my time here. indeed, personal relationships define our time here in aggie land. in fact, i think back and all the deans and administrators who led the way at the bush school, from chuck who called at 11:45 p.m. on the saturday night to offer me a job, and to my first dean here, who, upon hearing what it would take to ring a couple of yankee historians down to texas said simply, and i quote, who-ha.
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he hung up the phone leamy exactly to wonder what he meant, but were poorly he did. and other deans who followed. a wonderful academic administrative and, of course, ryan crocker epitomizes public service. and then there's andy. but it's a quick word about andy, since i have the mic. the bush school is deeply and profoundly fortunate to have andy at the helm. we only overlapped briefly here in aggie land, to my great regret, yet in the short time i discovered the men who more than any other i've met in my life and career, a man with great power, great intellect and great substance who is also a truly
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great gentlemen. so you are lucky. actually come to think of it there is one of the person who combines a great sense of power and leadership with the entire school is named after him. but i realize of course you didn't come here tonight to indigo down memory lane. we come instead to launch a book. it's an edited collection which explores the variety of interpretations and analyses of the gulf war. its place in history, its meaning. the book began as part of the schools 20th commemoration of the gulf war. and under larry's excellent leadership, his scowcroft institute gathered together imminent scholars, policymakers, journalists, charging each with providing their own unique perspective on the gulf war, not only what it meant to them but more importantly what it meant
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for them the longer arc of history. we talk about politics, military affairs, diplomacy, relations between the muslim and the western world. and ultimately what that all meant for the time and for the future. now, i admit to hear that i'm quite biased, but i think that this is that rare collection of essays that is more than just the sum of its parts. for the essays actually speak to each other. at times actually disagree with each other. and giving a book talk, a book launch talk about an edited collection is of course therefore is of course therefore the wiki thing because each of our contributors tell their own store and make their own argument far better than i could in my words. so, therefore, tonight i'm going to spend the remainder of my time getting in my perspectives on the gulf war and what it meant. it's been 20 plus years since the tumultuous events just demonstrated in the video. and much has changed over that time, yet much remains the same.
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saddam hussein, of course, is gone, and kuwait remains independent. yet american forces remain a mashed in the persian gulf in the broader middle east, far more now in 2013 than at any time before the historic event of 1990. 91. among the things that change since 1991 include of course our memories of the gulf war and our sense of what it meant. this is the ongoing point of the entire book. that what the goal for means to us, 20 years, 20 legislator is not necessarily what it meant have done. by the same token not what it would mean to people 20 years in the future and beyond. for us to the greatest what herbert butterfield told us more than 80 years ago, we, by which i mean both historians and the general public alike, we all buy version of the way our members work tend to recall the past not in terms of what actually happened, but how things turned
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out. we tend to focus on what things meant to us, not what things meant to people at the time. therefore we can say quite quickly that the gulf war was a conflict that was roundly understood, at least in american circles, as her tremendous victory in 1991. that interpretation changed a bit over the 1990s when it was considered a victory yet but perhaps an inconclusive victory given the saddam hussein still remained in power. and, of course, the conflict took on new meaning after 9/11 when it is perceived in many circles as a the first falling domino in a series of unexpected events. and none of these interpretations that came after that fact, after that time, truly capture what it meant to be at that time. the sense of anxiety, the sense of fear, the sense of moving into uncharted territory and how that adventure might turn out, or how badly.
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such notions of contingency and uncertainty underlies each of the three major points, which i will make tonight. as you recall the gulf war and ponder its ongoing many. and the points are these. first, that the gulf war was a fundamentally transformative moment for the american engagement in the crucial yet volatile middle east. even before august 1990, the persian gulf is largely beyond washington's direct sphere of influence. it was an important region but it was not yet won the united states was the primary player. after 199091 i would argue the united states became essentially another gulf state. it became and remains the region's largest most important factor of all, all because of events that flowed from decisions made in 1990 and 91. my second point tonight, the gulf war did not be engaged at
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all. let me be clear on this point. when i say that washington did not have waged the gulf war, i didn't argue that iraq could have been deterred from assaulting its neighbor in 1990s. this is a popular interpretation the one i think the facts proved to be wrong. neither do i mean that occupy kuwait could have been liberated without the use of force. rather, i argue tonight that each of washington's primary decisions at this time, the decision to confront iraq with military force, the decision to liberate kuwait with military force, the decision to defend saudi a raid with military force, the decision to initiate operation, military operations even as baghdad sought somewhat out of the crisis. and the decision to halt combat operations after the liberation of kuwait before the total destruction of the iraqi army, each of these were decisions. they didn't just happen. we now have a turned out, but
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there were choices made at the time. and the bush administration could have made different choices. and my third point, therefore, elaborates on the first two. that american policymakers did not fight by reflex. there had to have been a reason that george bush, a fundamentally cautious policymaker for whom the word prudent wasn't just a byword or even a catchphrase, but a way of life when he considered the international system. had to be a reason why this cautious policymaker would risk the lives of so many and also risk his entire presidency to do something so audacious and utterly unprecedented. and there were reasons indeed. his white house, and he, and the united states intern did not fight because it was anti-arab, pro-israel, or simply interested in the region's oil. though these have been popular criticisms, or frequent criticisms i should say over the
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last 20 years. these were popular interpretations but they are wrong. i contend the real reason why george bush waged the cold war and the more important waged it the we did was far more profound. he went to war like so may presidents before him in search of a better world. and my point, therefore, is nothing less than the gulf war marked a fundamental turning point, a pivot point if you will in modern american history. all that came before in 1991 were at least all before 1991, after 1945. you can understand in terms of the cold war, but all that happened afterwards is something else entirely. three points. the gulf war was transformative, that it was contention, and that it formed a clear dividing point in history. so let me turn to the first point. which begins emitted after iraq forces invaded kuwait august 1990. when considering the gulf war we can recall washington could simply have led saddam hussein's
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aggression go but it could have done nothing. as kuwait was small enough whitesnake. in fact, many respected experts, including renowned within bush's own in a circle and initially argued for just that position. some argued that the united states had no real allies in the region, only interests. and chief among those interest was ensuring the continuing flow of cold oil to the world. to wait was no democracy and neither any of its neighbors. these were not only american allies, not because of ideology but because they shared something in common. put simply 1990, the middle east mattered and global politics, the cost of its oil. the world cared about the gulf because it had oil, and gulf states tolerated international interference in their affairs because foreigners bought the oil. and i hate to be so blunt but i think anything else is sugarcoating the situation. and saddam hussein loved this
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arrangement. he loved it in fact so much he wanted to sell more oil to the world. more than its opec partners including kuwait could condone. saddam had tremendous depths -- debt. his neighbors, kuwait especially had enjoyed years of unbridled profits at the same time. and saddam hussein did not invade kuwait nor to keep its oil from the world. on the contrary he wanted to sell it to the world. he wanted to sell his oil and kuwait's to pay off those desperate and the geopolitical realities of the situation prompted me and washed it including in bush's own cabinet to respond with, studied indifference to the news that iraq had invaded kuwait. they surely cared that it happened. they just didn't know how much they really should care. for who cared, it was argued, within the international security council which flag was
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stamped on a barrel of oil that came out of the gulf so long as they came out of the gulf? so long as the great middle eastern gas station was open for business, the americans in the world could simply hold their nose and let the matter go away. other options of course -- washington could have accepted a so called arab solution allowing regional players to solve the crisis without international interference. in fact, egypt mubarak and jordan's king hussein lobbied president bush over the telephone before, during, and after the iraqi invasion to allow the arab world to solve this problem on their own. we know this man, mubarak told bush. the arabs have different rules. different ways, he said, of acting other than president bush or other american leaders or other western leaders might approve of. mubarak and king hussein told
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bush time and again, let us handle this. we will take care of the situation. after centuries of western intervention and colonialism, the arab world needs to take care of its own. which agreed to let his arab friends give it a try for a while. he told mubarak and hussein they could try for negotiating a deal, even as they instruct his own staff to seek further options, and there were, in fact, further options. the on the military of course, which, of course, will turn to in due course. perhaps the united states qaeda focused on economic sanctions by with driving iraq from kuwait. this is a popular approach in your. for having chosen and the trade route perhaps bush could limited to an anti-campaign. but we should recall in fact george bush was not the only decision maker in the world confronted by this problem. gorbachev in fact could have threatened to counter american
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force in the middle east with his own. threatening that which happened repeatedly during the cold war. in 1956, in 1973, again in the mid 1980s. soviet leaders warned the united states against putting too much of their own interest in the persian gulf. now, let's admit the soviet intervention was unlikely in august 1990, given the soviet poverty and in need of gorbachev in particular to keep good relations with the west and with george bush. but to say that it is unlikely is not to say that it was impossible. for iraq was a longtime client of the soviets and it had advocates throughout moscow and the common. more importantly, one fundamental cold war dynamic has been that each superpower was wary of the other gaining too much influence over the oil region of the persian gulf. and had that baghdad invaded kuwait's five year earlier, back
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in 1985, back when gorbachev who are not yet been known in the west, only two years after ronald reagan had referred to the service as the evil empire, we would have a far more dangerous crisis. the soviets i think would never have allowed the united states under those earlier circumstances to put more than a half-million troops and their arms along the persian gulf. yet none of these alternative options came to pass, not appeasement, not economic sanctions, not a renewal of cold war tensions or neither the arab solution. solution. so the fundamental reason that george bush believed, or rather came to believe, that it was far more at stake in this crisis than merely kuwait. to fully appreciate this moment in history i think we must recognize that washington's engagement with the gulf looked far different in 1991 and 90 than it does today.
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before 1990, american warships routinely patrolled gulf waters but they had little presence in the ground following the iranian revolution of 1979, and the pullout from lebanon a few years later. washington held a limited defense agreement with bahrain, but no one else. there were, for example, no u.s. troops in saudi arabia in 1990, nor any formal pledge to defend that kingdom over kuwait. in fact, on the eve of the iraqi invasion, as tensions grew, american policymakers put to each other gulf states the idea that perhaps this would be a good time for joint military exercise. let's show saddam that we are in this together. of all the gulf states, only one, only one, the united arab emirate even agree to this limited demonstration of solidarity. they feared more from cavorting with what the reins routinely called the great satan.
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in fact, as saddam hussein directly told interstates ambassador before the invasion quote he felt secure, secure in the belief that no arab government would ever allow the united states to use their land for the purpose. defending kuwait. why was he so care in disbelief? for two reasons. first because of his youth muslim states would reject american troops on the slow, and second, because in practical terms none to date had ever done so since 1979. of course, the shah of iran had, but that was not a model that other arab leaders wished to follow. said tom therefore bleak muslim states would reject direct american aid and more specifically station american troops on their soil. in retrospect this is perhaps his worst strategic calculation. but it was hardly and a rational one. american influence in the gulf was offshore rather than on site. this was not the 38th parallel
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in korea. this was not the gap in germany complacency american troops were stationed directly in harm's way as tripwires of american resolve. on the contrary, american policymakers for decades at this point had long hoped to invalids the gulf and keep its oil flowing with as little direct involvement as possible. so long as the soviets didn't interfere in the region themselves, president carter had declared in 1980. so as long as the iranians didn't stop up the gulf. president reagan declared a few years later, americans were content to ultimate it did not matter to cold war is what happened so long as the oil continued to flow. this was the bush administration's first line. and then cheating in fact a year before saddam's invasion, enunciating in the latter part of 1989 a national security directive 26 which is laid out the full scope and rationale of american involvement in the region.
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this document, which can get from the archive if you like, does not use the word freedom. it does not use the word democracy. it does not mention particular leaders to it doesn't talk about regime types. it doesn't talk about radical islam and it doesn't mention wmds. it says instead quote access to persian gulf oil is vital to national security interest. period. memories of hostages in iran, destroyed barracks in beirut, left reason enough to be wary of anything more. and this context matter for understand the widespread american reluctance to do more in response to iraq's invasion. for saddam hussein did not threaten the long range destruction of oil. moreover, the middle east was not a particularly at piecing place. take for example, sector of state james baker who had at
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this point advice presidents for decades, for years, but more important have been among bush's closest friend for decades. he was secretary of state and upon hearing this news contemplating it, gain back to washington, he was in washington at the time. he told the president quote -- close the door and told him quote, i know you're aware of a fact that this is all the ingredients that has brought down three of the last five presidents, a hostage crisis, body bags, and a full-fledged economic recession caused by $40 a barrel oil. we recall that bush's decisions was hardly embraced across the board of american politics in 1990. just at the same time, congressional opposition to the war was far from being partisan but it was rather conducted i think out of a true sense of concern. and senate majority leader,
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george mitchell argued the risk of active american intervention was great. he said quote, these include an unknown number of casualties and deaths, billions of dollars spent, oil price increases. a war possibly widen to israel, turkey or of allies. the possible long-term occupation of iraq, increased instability in the persian gulf region, long lasting arab and american, and a possible return to american isolationism, end quote. looking back on mitchell's warnings we consider a few of those things occurred in the immediate aftermath of the persian gulf war, but that argument all of mitchell's fears are not casualties come billions of dollars lost, disrupted markets, disaffected out, arab american hostility, a new wave of isolationism all returned in time to on to the next -- to haunt of the united states.
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this discussion but anything but defensive. national security advisor brent scowcroft later termed the session quote appalling. my fellow contributors to the book that we talked about tonight, richard haass, also was at that meeting called it in his memoirs quote a sharp disappointment. now, what scowcroft found appealing and richard haass appalling was that many of bush's advisers appeared prepared to accept iraq's conquest. secretary of defense dick cheney, for one, urged bush to declare saudi arabia a vital american national security interests. but by implication argued that kuwait was not. let's face facts. dick cheney is not typically described as a -- he typically over the course of this group had no qualms but using american force in the sense of american interests but this was a more simply did not see american interests at stake. in fact, bush's war council didn't seem to mind too much at
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first anyway the prospect of saddam hussein coming into control of one thirds oil supplies. lowering oil prices back to those happy days of the early 1970s before the oil shock. hussein's invasion might be good for american consumers. indeed, the most significant word that president bush voiced out loud in the first meeting, harkens back to earlier i would argue in grain cold war anxiety. he said, he told his staff, he warns them in fact that the soviets might react badly if the united states does invade iraq and then he said, a very interesting wil quote, we don't overlook the soviets decide to access for warm water ports. in other words, he thought perhaps his friends, his new friends, his friend he still isn't quite sure about, mikhaill gorbachev, was on board with this invasion. in the first hours and days after the iraqi invasion,
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washington blinked. it standard, it cost your this is not the image of a decisive decision-making typically recalled when memories of the gulf war are thought of. we recall instant president bush defiantly declaring, this will not stand. this will not stand. this aggression against way. frequently lost our collective memory is the fact that this defiant statement happened five days after the iraq invasion. five days in fact when the world, the country, and i would argue in fact the majority of his staff wondered exactly what he would decide. and for historians that tells us that other options were not only considered on the table, but were considered viable as well. and much occurred behind the scenes between the first and fiftthefifth of august to india, scowcroft and state department colleague lawrence eagleburger
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warned the present endorsement of a more vigorous response and here today, more than 20 years later as we discuss the gulf directed to i think we should be frank about what finally moved bush to act. it was not the argument that kuwait the independence itself mattered much at all. neither was it that hussein's particular brand of tyranny required an american response. nor was bush particularly persuaded that iraq's aggression carried strategic concerns are that iraq might someday turn its oil wells into dangerous weapons of mass destruction. each of these reasons in time influenced bush's thoughts, his actions, and his statements in the months to come. none, however, not freedom, evil, human rights, democracy or wmds affected his thinking in the first few days of august. bush was instead, and this is important, bush was instead persuaded by the growing realization that he stood at the moment in the course of history and this is my second point of
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the evening. as scowcroft explained in the second national security council meeting, after having time to collect his thoughts and marshal his arguments quote, my personal judgment is that the stakes are such a to accommodate iraq should not be a policy option. there is too much at stake, end quote. scowcroft had earlier in fact made this point to president bush and a far more intimate setting. when the two flew on a small plane to a small airfield in aspen, the regular air force one being too large to land, enter your scowcroft tell the store, their intimate quarters mattered in the president's decision-making. you have to picture he and the president talked to so tied together and find that their knees practically touch. their papers flopped onto each other's laps and knees. and it was within this cramped space that the advisor leaned forward in his seat while making his point to the far larger and taller president.
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jabbing his finger every time he made a point using his entire body, although scowcroft had -- [laughter] to make his case that the time for calculation based on their national interest was gone, but something larger and more important was afoot. and eagleburger was equally dramatic turn the nation scheduled to quote this is the first test of the system as the bipolar world is relaxed. relaxed. it permits us perhaps give you more flexibility because people might not be worried about the involvement of the superpowers. if saddam hussein '60s, others may try the same thing and it would be a bad lesson, end quote. this argument persuaded bush. who endorsed the fateful decision for which washington -- derived. the key question i think is why? why did bush go against decades of american policy like none before? answer that question takes it to my third and final point this evening. why bush act.
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not how or why we remember that he acted, but actually at the moment how he reached the decision. i argue that bush did this dramatic step within the gulf crisis because he saw it as a bridge to a better world. his new world order, build in response to saddam hussein's invasion was not just a catchy phrase but it was the culmination of a long and difficult journey of intellectual discovery, along with a majority of his national security team, bush came late to the idea in fact that the soviet transformation under gorbachev could be trusted, that they were real. even after the berlin wall fell in november 1989, and democracy flowed behind the iron curtain in eastern europe, bush paused, staring among other things the violent crackdown such as he'd just witnessed at tiananmen square. more profoundly though, bush recognized that the end of the
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cold war a limited the most stable aspects of the international system since 1945, and bush above all else is a man and hammered by national -- time and again during the spring and summer of 1990, bush told global leaders that there alliances required an enemy to survive. in his words the new enemy was instability itself. a united germany could not leave nato he told helmut kohl because quote the enemy now is unpredictability and destabilization. he told britain's margaret thatcher that quote when i asked who our enemy is now, i tell them apathy, complacency. in december 1989 in fact after the meeting with mikhail gorbachev, bush even lost his temper when pushed by reporters to declare the cold war over because he simply did not know the answer to the next obvious and final question, what came next? he said, and i quote, is the
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cold war the same? i make him is originally before in the times of the berlin blockade? absolutely not. things have moved dramatically but if i said that to you there's no cold war, and what he did with his troops in europe? i mean, come on. end quote. bush saw in the gulf war and opportunity as well as an invasion, a point i would make by way of conclusion tonight, he saw it was a chance to finish at the washington will continue to lead no matter what the future might bring. it would be a world he said quote where the united nations free from cold war still makes, vision of its founders. ultimately, this vision of a new world based on sovereignty and stability is what drove his thinking when saddam hussein invaded kuwait. in a similar vein, he said the prospects of the global peace continues to depend on an
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american aboard present can end quote. and he told gorbachev the exact same thing. on the eve of the american air wawar on and so on the eve of te american groundwork, that the liberation of kuwait was not in and of itself but to something bigger. and gorbachev as you will recall, attempted to mediate a truce between the world and iraq. he did so twice in fact. first on the eve of the air war and then a second time when the ground war appeared imminent. he called bush repeatedly on the telephone during this later date in fact hoping to save lives, hoping to save his former ally in baghdad, and to think of it as well to keep the world from seeing to vivid demonstration of americans hegemonic power. one can fairly say in fact the gorbachev called so often at he badgered bush. hectoring him nightly with phone calls that grew well into the two-hour plus ridge. this was not the brightest moment of the relationship.
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to be blunt, bush was annoying the heck -- excuse me, gorbachev was annoyed the heck out of bush. the president at this time was tired. he was stressed. he was about to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers into combat, risking more hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process, and he was frankly tired of gorbachev's calls. so tired in fact that one point he began yelling at gorbachev. and he didn't stop. he yelled and yelled and yelled. now, i have to tell you, it's hard from a transcript at determine when someone is yelling, for the transcripts don't reveal don't and they don't reveal all of you. but in this case we know that bush lost his temper with the soviet leader because we can read in a transcript gorbachev sing with billy, again and again, calm down, george. george, calm down. [laughter] don't know, george. take it easy, george. calm down, george. and bush in time called but his
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ultimate answer at that moment to gorbachev was revealing. there was not be an early end of the gulf war, he pledged, choose as they would be no ongoing soviet intervention. because the gulf war was a really the issue. at stake was the world two come, the better ball, the world in which the rest has learned not to invade. where the u.n. looked over sovereignty, a trend and its outcome this of union included look out for peace. as bush told gorbachev and a line into my mind sums up the president's entire reason for reaching war, a full generation ago, at the height of the cold war itself, when bombs and missiles rain down on iraq, he told gorbachev quote let us not fall out over iraq. let us not divide ourselves over saddam hussein. after all, there are far bigger things than this consecration,
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which is going to be over very soon. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, dr. engel. now, i'm going to ask two of the people to join us on stage, and first of all i would like to have larry never to join us on stage. ambassador graduated from texas a&m university in 1969. >> hoo-ha. >> he's a career foreign service officer at the time of desert shield and desert storm. he was deputy chief of mission in romania wher where he receive state department's distinguished honor award for leadership of the embassy during --
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[inaudible] spandex i'd like to ask lieutenant general randy house to join us. general howe's graduate from texas a&m university in 1967. >> hoo-ha. >> and received regular army commission and after. he is commit at every level in peace and war from platoon leader the deputy commander of u.s. pacific command. during desert shield, desert storm, he commanded the 22nd brigade like jack brigade and the first calvary division. lieutenant general house brigade execute the coalition plan against saddam hussein's army making multiple bloody incursions, prior to the start of the ground operations. these actions to see the iraqis into putting the coalition would attack from the south in the vicinity. so we look forward to this discussion. we have people who were there in people who have studied what happened there. so let's go into the desert.
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>> well, i believe we are waiting for your questions. so there are microphones on either side of the isles, and if you don't ask a question that i'm going to do about all the cool things coming out of the archives. [laughter] >> that inspired me. hello? i don't have a -- [inaudible] i use this map when i teach about the gulf war, and i compared it to operation iraqi freedom. and one of the big differences is, between both wars, i'm wondering if we agree with your interpretation that president bush had this vision, bipolarity ending, unipolarity is coming. we also want to set precedent for how we should do business.
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was he constrained in his objective in order to maintain the coalition? and did that play out when you look at the archives? whether a definite decision that you could only do so much with so many allies? >> well, i will answer the first, but i'm curious to hear what our fellow panelists have to say. i think bush was constrained in two important ways, and also there's an important thing which is coded archives to my mind that helps explains his decision making, is not in terms of the decision to go to war but his decision to end the war. clearly he was constrained by the concerns of the israeli arab dynamic. now, of course, israel was a non-member of the coalition but many members of the coalition, shall we say when not fond of the israelis. consequently he was constrained in the need to keep the war from going on long enough that the israelis would want to retaliate for being hit by saddam hussein,
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at the same time, hearken back to what i mentioned are you about the desire among many of the milk these for an arab solution. he was concerned that if he went further towards baghdad and, in fact, took over baghdad, that this would create greater entity within the coalition among his arab members would do that in some way as an establishment of western colonialism. but there's a very important distinction which i would like to make that i think is a revelation to me in the archives, and that there's always been a question when the decision, when a decision comes up in the quest to study about whether or not american forces should'vshould have continued oo baghdad in 1991, this was not a discussion within the white house for a very important reason. the ultimate goal or one of the ultimate goals beyond the liberation of kuwait, was the removal of saddam hussein from power. there was a 100% certainty on
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the part of the high level american officials that this is going to happen anyway. saddam hussein had been embarrassed. his own people were rising up against them. his own army was out to get him. if he lived weeks, it would be a shock instead of days. 999 times out of 1000 i think that's exactly how things would have played out, that saddam would not have survived it unfortunately from the bush administration's perspective, george h. w. bush's perspective, saddam rolled the dice and made it. but i think given that question and those odds again i suspect they would take the same that again. >> i do think the breath of the coalition did play a role in that calculation. it was in many ways a strange cancellation. my vantage point, coalition. my vantage point on it was from
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romania, where only a few months before in december 1989, they had been overthrown and the only violence over the that occurred in eastern europe after the fall of the wall. he had been in romania, have been a big ally of saddam hussein and also of iran. and his successor came out, many of them came out of the communist party apparatus. they were not his closest workers but they were nonetheless -- why was remaining important anyway? because rummages have but one of the rotating seats on the security council. so that a vote and we need nine votes every time the city to council took a resolution. so we really needed, even the support of romania and its
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successors at a time when the united states didn't like an awful lot of the things that they were, in fact, doing. keeping a coalition that broad, that deep onboard, i think it have something to say about constraining objectives. >> i was a colonel at the time, and while all this discussion was going on i was focus on running off guard and running off tackle. you know, down at the fundamental level. i had been, the two years before, the gulf war i've been on the joint chiefs of staff, and i've been the executive director of three joint chiefs of staff, and was there general powell's first six months, and the whole thing at the time, we were this close to the sink,
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commander-in-chief of sin, being an admiral. it went down. it was between the two-three stars because between schwarzkopf and a navy three-star admiral. because at the time it was all about the tanker wars. that's all we've been doing so there was, there was no thought -- we have no war plans. america has planned for more contingencies than you can imagine. there was no contingency plan. there was no 1021 -- 1021 was all about the soviet union. so it was, i thought of a ground war in that region at this time, even to a colonel, was unbelievably remote.
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>> my question is to ambassador napper and general house. and that is, are you buying the kool-aid this man is dishing out? he reminded us at the very beginning of this talk that george herbert walker bush being a prudent, careful, cautious political leader. and then he tells us that he had a vision for a new world order, willing to risk an enormous amount because he saw the stakes that were so much bigger than saddam hussein.
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general house, didn't we expect saddam hussein to use chemical weapons? what were your estimates about casualties? can you really believe that we were ready to roll the dice? that the city was going to take -- ambassador napper, is this your understanding of the man for whom this library is named? >> go ahead, sir. [laughter] >> can i suggest if i may? let me just say, it seems to me stated you should let the kool-aid vendor defend himself. >> i just want to point out that if only one of the three of us agree on the panel, i'm still batting 333 and i get into the hall of fame. [laughter] >> well, i guess i was at least partly persuaded by the eichmann. i do think that notwithstanding president bush's reputation,
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that he also did half a broader vision about the way he wanted the world to look after his administration. and i do think that the iraqi use of threat forced to accomplish its objectives violated that notion of what the post cold war world might look like. so, i do think that there were other objectives. ..
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>> president bush was concerned that this set of events not completely unravel, and if possible, to validate everything that he had invested in, had come to invest in. i degree there was a pause while he reconsidered his relationship with gorbachev. but after malta, he had come to invest something in this relationship. to finally, once and for all, end the cold war. so i think there were many proximate objectives that he saw in the diplomacy of the persian gulf, first persian gulf war, but i am at least persuaded that part of it, part of his calculation was that something had to come out of this that would mean a better world in the long run.
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he had to have a way to answer that news conference question, what comes next? and what came next came an international coalition working together across all kinds of divides and divisions that would be strong enough, durable enough to turn back aggression at a very critical juncture. >> sir, the context that you lose after you know all the what happened was after we had gotten out of vietnam, we had been involved in a little island fight that wasn't much, and we had been involved in just cause, taking down noriega in panama. when i got to the gulf with my brigade in september of '90, all
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we knew we were going to defend saudi arabia. matter of fact, in october of '90 we started plans to build camps like we had many germany on the gap. i saw at one time while all this was going on in washington, you know, i never was, i never saw tv, i never listened to any radio. i mean, i'm out there in the desert. nobody had been out there since jesus christ. [laughter] there was no bedouins, there was no camels, there was of no nothing where we were. [laughter] there were no trails, there were no roads, there were no towns, and i could see us just sitting there like we had in the gap in europe, you know, forever. so we started laying out plans to build camps, to build ranges. it was a whole, you know?
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so it, you just kind of had to understand the context at my level of where we were. we, you know, after vietnam i had, i had -- after two tours of vietnam, i'dlyed through 20 years -- i'd lived through 20 years, you know, how bad it was to be a soldier, you know, because we had done all these terrible things in vietnam. and then the only thing i knew was when we went to the gulf war, we were so good, and the reagan dollars and what had happened to america's military after vietnam, i remember being asked after the war by several think tank groups that came in to talk to me, they says, did you -- it was about fratricide. they said did you care, did you or worry about where the enemy
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was? did you know where the enemy was? i said, i didn't care. i just wanted to know where the friendlies were, because i knew i could beat any enemy that we ran into. so the context at the time was so, has been lost of where we were and what was going on at the different levels. and, you know, invest seeing any of these -- never seeing any of these briefings, never seeing any of these briefings september, october, november, we didn't really know we were going to attack iraq until sometime in december. all of our plans were defensive. we were defending saudi arabia. and it wasn't until sometime in december that we started working -- now, at schwarzkopf's level, you know, at colin powell's level, you know, they were into offensive war planning, but not at, not at my
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level. so it just, i don't know if it's drinking the kool-aid or just not quite understanding what, what was going on. when you're a colonel, it's hard to envisions what goes on in the president of the united states' mind, okay? [laughter] you just, you know, i just ran off guard and ran off tackle. [laughter] >> i'm going to accept pote of those as vivid -- both of those as vivid endorsements. [laughter] sir, question. >> dr. engel, i see a little bit of the kool-aid in that maybe president bush wanted to maintain orderly -- order and
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stability whereas inty yangmen square there was no outside danger to the world. i am skeptical of -- not even a colonel, just a lowly captain, i've opinion grounded -- i've been grounded such that i see capabilities. so the communication capabilities, certainly, would have been in this conflict astromom call in the advance. and i'm sure general house can speak to that. but i was wondering what your thoughts are with respect to the gulf war planning for the end from the beginning and then whether or not you think this was actually a revolution of military affairs. >> no. actually, i don't. for two reasons. the first is that we have a lot of memories, as i mentioned
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before, memories are bad, terrible things. you know, you don't actually -- if i ask most of you what you had for lunch, most of you will get it wrong. so if i ask you what you saw on tv over 22 years ago, you'll remember what you saw over the last 22 years, not what you saw 22 years ago. american smart bombs and missiles hitting exactly what we wanted. two points about this that are important to remember. well, three. the first isn't -- that's really quite impressive, and that's new, and that's something that, clearly, the enemy didn't have. but the second two points, i think, are that, first of all, the pentagon didn't show you any video of things that missed. that's bad pr. and the percentage of weapons that were smart weapons in the first gulf war while infinitely more than anything the iraqis had was remarkably small compared to the impression the
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pentagon gave in their military briefings where they'd only show pictures of smart bombs and smart missiles and things flying through windows. that was a very, very tiny percentage of the munitions actually expended. so i don't think this was so much a revolution in military affairs so much as a vivid demonstration, as you point out, of just how proficient the united states was in waging war especially against a less proficient adversary. but it also was military affairs in a more philosophical, fundamental way, and that is claus wits still has a vote here, and the ultimate goal of the conflict was a political goal and, therefore, the military planning and the air war being a classic case in point of this were designed with a traditional military conclusion which in truth was not revolutionary at all which was getting the enemy to do what you wanted. so in this sense i can't see it
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as a revolution in military affairs. i am getting a revolutionary sign from the back that we're out of time, but i do want to give the general -- >> yeah, let randy comment on this. >> well, as i alluded to, the revolutionary military affairs was something that was, had come at the time goldwater-nichols had just been passed that tried to jointify the military, and it was all, it was all that was talked about back in the '80s. it was this revolutionary, revolution of military affairs. and what it meant to me was it finally after, you know, coming out of vietnam that we had had some real thinkers in the military or that had worked
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through what it took to wage war at a very high lethality level using all the tools in the tool box, the army, navy, air force, marines. when someone says why do you have four air forces, that's because we need 'em. the marines has an air force, the army has an air force, the navy has an air force, you know, the air force has an air force. [laughter] when you're a war planner, you pick tools out of your tool box, and it was wonderful, i thought, what we had received from the american taxpayers was these unbelievable tools. now, the smart weapons were just in the 117 that was just still understood and everything, but we could go on in all the m-1 tank -- [inaudible] all that was there was a combination of hardware, and it
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was a combination of unbelievable training that had occurred since the vietnam war, the national training center. all the things that went in, that's why when they said did you worry about your enemies, i said, no, i just worried about my buddies. i didn't want to shoot my own guys. >> do we have time for one -- >> let's take one more question, and then we'll -- professor parker. >> well, the kool-aid's quite tasty, i guess i'll begin with that. accepting the argument that bush's policy is governed by a view to the precedent will be set for a post-cold war world, i want to weave a couple of earlier threats together, that one with the question of of wmds. they do show up on the battlefield as at least possibilities, right? they're lobbing scud missiles around the region. i was in the south of france at the time just beginning a study
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abroad program, and there was some fear he actually had missiles that could hit mediterranean targets. turns out not to be the case. but i guess my question is do these crop up as the war starts and ends as other things about which the bush administration wishes to set precedence moving forward? in other words, once they're in the conversation, is this something that's looked at as well? we're going to have a way to set the post-cold war order, or is it -- [inaudible] >> that's a very good question. the answer is yes and no. let me give you the no first. i'm quite certain, i'd love to hear your thoughts on this, that these concerns, these chemical weapons concerns, biological weapons concerns, maybe even nuclear concerns are clearly concerns on the battlefield. but at the highest level of diplomacy to my mind, that is at the secretary of state and
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presidential level, george bush did not seem to be too concerned about keeping iraq from using wmds as a way to remind others not to use them. with one exception. president bush wrote a letter to saddam hussein on the eve of the air war. by the way, the two were not in a lot of communications, so this was rather unusual. and he gave the letter, of course, to secretary of state baker who met with -- [inaudible] in geneva. and the letter, which we have in the archive, is really quite remarkable. it says in no uncertain terms if you use nuclear weapons or if there is any terrorist attack against any american ally anywhere in the entire world, we are going to presume you did it. and we are going to respond with nuclear weapons. now, they don't actually say we're going to respond with nuclear weapons, they use the
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nice diplomatic catch phrases such as the fullest measure of our arms. so the sense of not so much setting a precedent for -- [audio difficulty] military conflict begins that here is the red line was specifically done by the bush administration. >> i'd just like to make one brief comment, and that is that it came as a surprise to the internumber community just -- international community just how far along saddam was in his nuke or lahr program. once the inspectors again had access to iraq following the gulf war. so they -- while it may not have been first and foremost in the minds of planners before the invasion, it certainly became a fixation in the international community later that he had achieved a sort of large -- [inaudible] of nuclear weapons that nobody knew much about at the time.
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>> the, with the dean standing there having to figure out how to answer this quick -- [laughter] as a brigade commander, i was cop vinceed that we were going to get slimed -- convinced that we were going to get slimed, that they were going to hit us with chemical weapons. but we were so well trained, the only thing we really needed was more water to be able to put with the chemicals that we had with us to cleanse our tanks and our personnel carriers and everything very quickly so we could get back into the fight. and so we ended up getting 5,000-gallon japanese water trucks were a part of my formation because -- and we trained and trained and trained on how we were going to decontaminate from the chemicals that we knew were going to happen. i thought, you know, the gulf war lasted 96 hours. i thought for 30 days, i was
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schwarzkopf's deception force trying to convince the iraqis that it was of the gap of the region, and the main coalition attack would hook into kuwait by kuwait airport. they put the syrians to my right. my right flank were the syrian forces that had the same tanks that saddam had which was always kind of interesting. [laughter] you know, so for 30 days i'm running up the wadi with thousands of soldiers trying to elicit a response to -- and we were clearing the mines and going through the fire trenches and getting ready, trying to make it look like the main coalition attack was going to come right up the w with adi. this is why he's moving 17th and 8th corps to the west. so he kept running my brigade up the wad, i and, every time we
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were in mop 3 which was everything on but our gas masks. we had our little rubber booties, we had our suits, we had our gloves on, and we had our masks out of the carriers ready to put them on because we knew we were going to get slimed one of these times, you know? and it just never happened. so if diplomatic moves of this letter from the president to saddam that talked about nukes, maybe they interpreted that also to be you better not slime us. because, see, they had released their chemical weapons down to battalion level, and we knew that. anybody over there who we were threatening could have retaliated with chemical weapons. so it was, again, there's so many levels. you listen to this, this is for all you cadets that are here, thank you for coming. because the levels of interaction here just today has
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been interesting, has just been unbelievable. you know, the president was thinking about what he was doing, all these different levels, and then i was just out there, you know, at the end, at, you know, the point just tell me what to do, boss. [laughter] >> i will jump in as the boss. [laughter] and i say thank you very much to dr. jeff engel, dr. nappers, general house. [applause] i happened to be on the trip that you saw highlighted in the video with the president and mrs. bush went to saudi arabia to see the troops before the ground war started, and the white house staff was trained to use gas masks and put on clothing, so we were very concerned about the use of chemicals and very bad things.
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but with that, you're about to have some very good things. if you would, please, join us outside, we have some refreshments and some -- you'll have a chance to buy the book and have it autographed by the author or the editor. and we thank you very much for coming. we're very proud of the bush school, and we're very proud to be part of the texas a&m community. so i'll leave you, reminding you that all things at texas a&m center around excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service, and they're all personified in george h.w. bush. and we're fortunate to be the bush school at texas a texas a&. thank you. [applause] >> you're watching 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span2's booktv. >> the best day to be a planner in america was july 9, 2004,
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when dick jackson, howie frumpkin and lawrence frank came out with a book called "urban sprawl and public health." and what that book finally did was put some technical epidemiological meat on the sociological bones that we plan ors have been arguing about and said in no uncertain terms the suburbs are killing us, and here's why, and cities are safe us, and here's why. by far the greatest aspect of the epidemic is the obesity epidemic. all the illnesses that obesity leads to. principle among them diabetes. diabetes now consumes 2% of our gross national product. a child born after 2000 has a one in three chance in america of becoming a diabetic. we are now looking at the first generation of americans who are going to live shorter lives than
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their parents. that's probably not a huge surprise to you. we've all been talking now for a long time about the wonders of the american corn syrup-based diet and the 40 ounce and 08 ounce sodas people are drinking, but only recently have the studies been done comparing diet and physical inactivity. one of them in england was called gluttony versus sloth. [laughter] another doctor at the mayo clinic put patients in electronic underwear and measured every motion, set a certain dietetic regime, studied their weight, started pumping calories in, and some people got fat and other people didn't. and expecting some sort of metabolic factor at work or a genetic dna factor at work, they found the only thing that changed with these people was the amount of daily activity. then you go a step furthered and you look -- further and you look at these books like the blue zones, dan buttener and the blue
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zones, and where in the world do people live the longest? you see what they do, including drinking red wine, and then you put it in a book, and you sell millions. the number one rule? move naturally. don't become a weekend war -- warrior. don't ask people to exercise, they will stop. find a way to build normal motion into your everyday life as part of a work routine. who's going to change their work routine where all of a sudden they go from being an accountant to a lumberjack? that's not going to happen. they say, well, you know, bike to work, walk to the store. and the one thing that book forgets to mention is in half of america you can't bike to work, and you certainly can't walk to the store. so it's fundamentally about how we build our communities in the long run. but in the short run, it's about where you choose to live, and that's a choice you can make. and that's nowhere more obvious than in the other big discussion
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which is car crashes. and car crashes are funny because on the one hand we naturalize it. we're like, oh, that's just a part of living that there's a one in 3200 -- 200 chance that i'll die in a car crash. that's just part of life. nothing i can do about i. or alternately we feel like we're in charge of our fate on the road. you know, we're good drivers, we can avoid the accidents. 85% of people that are in the hospital recovering from a crash that they, in fact, caused rate themselves as good dreiers. not the same all over the world or around america. so we have a rate where 14 americans out of 100 are dying -- sorry, 14 americans out of 100,000 are dying every year in car crashes. in england it's 5 out of 100,000. in fact, no one has half the crashes we do. in new york city it's 3 out of 100,000. new york city has saved more
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lives in traffic than were lost since september 11th than or were lost on september 11th. and, in fact, if our entire country were to share new york city's accident rate, we would save 24,000 lives a year. there's a big difference between urban living and suburban or rural living in terms of that aspect of our lives. and, again, in the short term we can build places -- in the long term, we can build places to be safer. in the short term, we can just decide to live in more urban environments. a wonderful study, you know, dick jackson famously asked the question in what sort of environment are you most likely to die in a pool of blood? that's how he puts it to his audiences. [laughter] and they compared murder by strangers, crime, to car crashes and added the two together. they looked at portland, vancouver and seattle in all three places, you were 15% safer in the grittiest inner city than
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the leafy suburbs because of the connell by nation of the two. -- combination of the two. and then finally asthma. who talk abouts about asthma? fourteen americans die every day from asthma. okay, that doesn't sound like a huge amount. it's three times the rate of the '90s and it's entirely due to motor exhaust. the sickest places in america are those places which are the most car dependent. and, you know, in phoenix you've got four months out of the year that healthy people are not supposed to leave their houses because of the amount of driving that's going on. so, again, what's the solution? the city. finally, the most interesting discussion maybe is the environmental discussion which has turned 180 degrees in the last ten years. you know, have you looked at the -- even within the global warming discussion, you talk about carbon footprint and the vulcan project which maps where our carbon footprints are, you
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know, red is bad, green is good. you look at the united states, and it looks like the satellite night sky of the united states. hottest around the cities, cooler in the suburbs, coolest out in the country, right? but that measures co2 per square mile. in 2001 scott bernstein at the center for neighborhood technology in chicago said what happens if instead of measuring cing o2 per mile we start measuring co2 per person or per household? if you look at co2 per household, the red and the green just flip, absolutely change places. and by far the healthiest place you can live is in the city. manhattanites burn a third of the fossil fuels of people in dallas, for example, they use a third of the electricity. why? well, they're heating and cooling their neighbors, their apartments are touching. but even more importantly than that is the less driving they're
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doing. transportation is the greatest single contributor to most civilians' greenhouse gas. you know, in our daily lives the biggest choice we can make, you know, when i built my house in washington, d.c., i made sure i cleaned the shelves on the sustainability store. i got the solar panels, the water heater, the superinsulation, i got the bamboo flooring, i have a wood burning stove that supposedly contributes less co2 to the environment than if it were left to decompose in the forest naturally. and, of course, i have the energy saver lightbulbs. to change an entire house to energy saver lightbulbs saves as much electricity -- or i should say saves as much carbon in a year as moving to a walkable neighborhood saves in a week. so the whole what can i buy to make myself more sustainable is the wrong discussion. it should be where can i live and how can i live to contribute
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less. and the answer, again, is the city. this is fundamentally the opposite of the american ethos, you know? from jefferson on. cities are essential to the health and freedom of man. if we continue to pile upon ourselves in cities as they do in europe, we shall take to eating one another as they do there. [laughter] that was jefferson. and that just continued and continued. and it made sense back in the 1700s when we had the whole country to spread out on. but that's not the case now. so it's a longer discussion. all three of these are a longer discussion. but they're all national crises. we have a national economic crisis which is only going to get tougher, we have a national health crisis which is bankrupting us, and as sandy proved all too clear a couple weeks ago, global warming is beginning to affect us dramatically. and now we're not talking about stopping it, we're talking about mitigating it. but, obviously, the less of